Friday, April 1, 2016

2 girls were killed during a holiday trip. But a FB post tells the whole truth.


Some stories are hard to write and this is one of them. Marina Menegazzo and María José Coni were just 21 and 22 years old when this happened. Both girls were from Mendoza, Argentina and had big hearts and a lot of love to share. In fact, they both were volunteers at Fundación Puente Vincular, an organization that helps people on the street. 
On January 10th, 2016 Marina and María José were ready to embark on the trip of their lives. Together with 2 friends, they planned to travel for 6 weeks through Ecuador and Peru. The girls started their trip with loads of excitement. They were sharing pictures of beautiful landscapes and experiences on their Facebook profiles. But suddenly, their families stopped hearing from them and they decided to travel to Ecuador, the last place where they had phoned from. It had been the day before they were supposed to be heading back to Argentina. 
On February 22nd someone did something terrible to the 2 girls. These two beautiful people with their whole lives ahead of them were found on the beach in garbage bags. Someone had killed them at a party that night. Millions of people around the world are now seeking justice for Marina and María José. A letter that is going viral around the world was written by Guadalupe Acosta, a student who put herself in the girls shoes with these heartbreaking words:
"Yesterday they killed me,
I refused to let them touch me so they crushed my skull with a stick. They stabbed me and left me to bleed to death. 
Like garbage, they put me in a black polyethylene bag, wrapped with duct tape, and I was thrown onto a beach, where hours later I was found.
But worse than death, was the humiliation that followed.
From the moment they had my dead body, nobody wondered where the bastard was who ended my dreams, my hopes, my life.
No, rather they started asking me useless questions. To me, can you imagine? A dead woman, who cannot speak, who can not defend herself.
What clothes were you wearing?
Why were you alone?
How could a woman travel alone?
You went into a dangerous neighborhood. What did you expect?
They questioned my parents for giving me wings, for letting me be independent, like any human being. 
They said that we must have been on drugs and that we were asking for it with how we acted, that they should have watched us.
And now that I’m dead, I understand that to the world I am not like a man. That death was my fault, it always will be. If the headlines had read that two young men were killed traveling, people would be giving their condolences and, with their false and hypocritical double standards, would demand harsher penalties for the murderers.
But as a woman, it’s played down. It becomes less severe, because of course I was looked for it. Doing what I wanted to, I found what I deserved. For not being submissive, for not wanting to stay at home, for investing my own money in my dreams. For that and more, I was condemned.
And I grieve, because I'm no longer here. But you, yes you are. And you're a woman. And you have to bear them repeating the same discourse “earn respect.” It's your fault that they yell at you in the street, that they want to touch/lick/suck any of your genitals because you’re wearing shorts in 40-degree heat, that if you're traveling alone you're “crazy” and it's very likely something will happen to you. If they trampled upon your rights, you asked for it.
I ask you for myself and for all women who they have shut up, silenced, who shat on our life and dreams, to raise your voice. We will fight, I’ll be by your side in spirit, and I promise you that one day we will be many, that there will not be enough bags to keep us all quiet."
If you were or know someone who was at the full moon party in Montañita, Ecuador on February 22nd of this year, Marina’s sisters are asking for photos from that day at a campaign started on Twitter  and Facebook.  
These girls only wanted to have a fun holiday and someone chose to take their lives. How sad to lose wonderful people like them. From us, Marina and María José: May you be in peace. Wherever you are.  
Facebook Fundación Puente Vincular